Tennis champ Osaka, NBA MVP Antetokounmpo banner athletes in Time 100 list
Naomi Osaka (R) and Giannis Antetokounmpo were among eight athletes who made it to the Time 100 most influential people list this year
Tennis champ Osaka, NBA MVP Antetokounmpo banner athletes in Time 100 list
Luisa Morales ( - September 25, 2020 - 1:22pm

MANILA, Philippines – Eight athletes made it to the prestigious TIME 100 most influential list for this year.

Being at the forefront of social activism in 2020, three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka led all athletes in her second consecutive year on the list.

During the US Open, where she won the title, Osaka delivered powerful messages on racism in America by wearing seven different masks bearing the names of victims of police brutality during her matches.

"Whatever power we have, the most lasting and life-giving way we can steward that power is by using it to lift others up. Especially those who aren't exactly like us," WNBA star Maya Moore said on Osaka.

Moore herself, who has taken time away from basketball to fight for the release of a wrongly convicted prisoner, made the list too.

Among other ballers in the list was back-to-back MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo and Miami Heat legend Dwayne Wade.

Antetokounmpo was commended after he and the Milwaukee Bucks made NBA history after refusing to play in a playoff game that caused a league-wide boycott that lasted for days.

"Giannis sets an example by standing up for what he believes in," said NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbaar on Antetokounmpo's efforts.

On the other hand, Wade was recognized for his outspoken support of his transgender daughter and the LGBTQ+ community.

"He's modelling how parents can champion their kids, and fight for them, and help them become the best adult that they can be," said singer-songwriter John Legend of Wade.

Among others recognized in the list is Formula One star Lewis Hailton, who used his platform to push the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee before races, and runner Allyson Felix who forced athletic wear giant Nike to improve its policies on athletes who fall pregnant.

Women's football star Megan Rapinoe, who has long fought for gender pay equality and LGBTQ+ rights, and Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes round up the athletes on the list.

Last year, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Alex Morgan, Mohamed Salah and Caster Semenya were the athletes included in the prestigious list.

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